Landowners seek community input on Ballachulish development

The luxury accommodation is designed to blend in naturally to the landscape. Photograph: Laurence Young

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A proposal to build dozens of small holiday properties on the Ballachulish waterfront will be put before a public meeting on Tuesday January 7.

The proposals are a joint venture between the Crieff Hydro family of hotels, which owns the Isles of Glencoe and surrounding land, and the Young family, which owns much of the rest of the peninsula.

The proposed 48 units will be of modern and compact design with most only having one bedroom.

However, some local residents are not happy that an area used by the community and home to wildlife will be developed into holiday accommodation, which is why public consultation is under way.

Director of the nearby Dragon’s Tooth golf course and other businesses Laurence Young told the community council the initial proposal was a way for people to start imagining what might be possible.

He said: ‘Rather than say what we don’t want, we now welcome a positive discussion with the community about what is possible. All ideas are welcomed: from “more houses” to “keep it just as it is” to “let’s have a community purchase” to “more cycle routes and sports facilities please”.’

The proposal shows the accommodation scattered across the waterfront area. Photograph: Laurence Young

Developers say that something like this will make Ballachulish more of an overnight destination rather than just a day trip.

Community groups are remaining neutral on the subject until the public consultation has finished as there are strong opinions for and against.

The community council suggested three options may be possible: accepting the full development, a compromise whereby part is accepted and part is challenged, or outright refusal.

A spokesperson for the community council said: ‘The public meeting on January 7 will hopefully provide the community council with a clearer answer as to which of these options is favoured in the wider community.

‘It has been suggested that if options two or three were favoured, then the community could undertake a community buyout of some or all of the land in question, and use the land for community benefit.

‘However, this would almost certainly require some development in order to make it financially viable. Inquiries have been made regarding the possibility of a community buyout, but this is not a quick or easy process and would require widespread community support to be progressed.’